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    Updates to the SILVAH decision-support system make it more applicable to the mixed oak forests of Pennsylvania and other mid-Atlantic states. This update required establishing interim inventory guidelines for assessing the competitive ability of advance oak regeneration. This assessment was complicated by oak’s growth strategy, emphasizing root development in lieu of stem development. Regression analysis of an oak height growth data set from the Piedmont region of Virginia was used to compare stem height, basal diameter, and root collar diameter over 3 years in shelterwood stands. If the oak stems were not top-killed, then there was no difference in the coefficients of determination among the three variables. Conversely, when the stems were top-killed, root collar diameter explained much more of the subsequent height growth than either basal diameter or stem height because many small oak stems produced tall vigorous sprouts. Examination of these sprouts revealed that they had large root systems and shared certain characteristics such as number of stems, number of full-sized leaves, and stem height. These findings indicate that root collar diameter should be examined when assessing oak regeneration in previously disturbed stands and should provide guidance as to what stem characteristics indicate small oak stems with large root systems.

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    Brose, Patrick H. 2007. Development of interim oak assessment guidelines for the silvah decision-support system. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–101. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 37-45. [CD-ROM].

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